Building Your Roofing Business: Virgin Resin Roofing Product Versus Recycled

If you’re a roofer looking to build your business, this article about virgin resin roofing products may be the most important you read this year. We’re about to provide you with solid tips to grow your company sales.

Heidi Ellsworth, with RoofersCoffeeShop®, recently hosted a webinar addressing this issue. In the “How To Incorporate Composite Roofing Into Your Business” online session, she goes into detail on how adding alternative roofing materials like DaVinci Roofscapes composite slate and shake tiles — can help roofers really build their business.

Finding the Hidden Gem: Composite Roofing

While researching the current roofing environment, Ellsworth turned to one of the sponsors of RoofersCoffeeShop, DaVinci Roofscapes.

“Through our RLW I was able to visit with roofing contractors who have added DaVinci into their product offerings,” says Ellsworth. “DaVinci uses true virgin resins to make composite roofing. They’re able to do that quickly and turn out quality products.”

What Roofers Need to Know about Virgin Versus Recycled Roofing Content

Why are virgin resins so important in a composite roofing product? According to Jeff Karo, Regional Sales Manager for DaVinci Roofscapes, there are 1000s of different densities of “plastics.” Above all, purer resins produce stronger, more reliable roofing products.

DaVinci uses virgin resins in its composite slate and shake roofing
“Virgin resins are made from a petrochemical feedstock,” says Karo. “An example of this would be natural gas or crude oil. These resins have never been used or processed before. This means they’re pure. Therefore, they’re of the same consistency.

“Recycled resins have been reclaimed. They’re being reused. Virgin resins went into making products like plastic milk containers or detergent bottles. When these are recycled, they are generally cleaned. This process — even just washing out the containers — reduces the mechanical properties of the resins.

“After cleaning, the containers are reground. Then they are made into pellets. Each time resins are reused, they lose some of their original strength. Some companies use these recycled pellets to make roofing tiles.

“Think of it this way. What if you’re installing a roof made with recycled resins and run out of product. What happens? The original order may have been made with recycled water bottles and hemp fibers. The additional order may be made with milk jugs and tires. The result is an inconsistent product line with questionable content.”

According to Karo, when roofers purchase a virgin resin roofing product, they know that they’re getting the “first generation” tile. This means there is consistent durability of the product. Whether the roofing tile is made last week or last year, the resin is exactly the same. In other words, it’s pure and first-use. Therefore, it has no risk of contaminants from the reclaimed materials and the recycling process.

Educating Consumers

Many consumers hear the word “recycled” and get excited. We’re all programmed to want to help the environment. As a result, homeowners may think they’re “doing their part” by having composite roofing with recycled content.

Not so fast.

Pure resins are the strongest, most durable type of composite roofing. They are the purest form of resin, with no marketplace pre-life use. Homeowners selecting a virgin resin roofing product start off with the best possible resin material. This gives the roof an excellent change for a long life span. Therefore, it can be a positive impact on the environment. Why? Because the consumer only has to get a new roof once every 50 years, versus every 20 or so years.

Tips on Explaining Virgin Resin Roofing Products Versus Recycled to Homeowners

Now it’s time to “sell” virgin versus recycled to your customers. Here are some tips for explaining the benefits of virgin resin roofing products to consumers:

DaVinci uses only virgin resin roofing products for its composite slate and shake tiles.
Tip #1:
People are conditioned by advertising that “Pure is Better.” Therefore, use that to your favor. Consider citing these examples:

  • Tropicana Pure Premium®Original is 100% pure orange juice, squeezed from fresh-picked oranges and never from concentrate.
  • Pure Leaf brews premium iced tea from real tea leaves. No to tea powders and concentrate.
  • 100% Pure Lavender essential oil is free from additives, fillers and carrier oils.

Tip #2: Roofs are 100% exposed to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Over time heat and UV rays can break down the polymer chains. This degradation can cause resins to become brittle. Many roofing companies fight this by using UV inhibitors and thermal stabilizers.

However, there is no way to completely eliminate that degradation. If you start with recycled content in roofing tiles, the polymer chains have already been broken down through the process of grinding. This puts the recycled resin at a disadvantage. Now it’s built back up again to serve as a roofing tile.

Tip #3: Try a comparison test for your customers. This will help them better understand the value of a virgin resin roofing product. Share these examples:

  • If you leave a container of pure vanilla ice cream on the counter, it will melt. You can refreeze it. However, will it really look and taste the same as the original ice cream? No.
  • You cleanly pull a piece of packaging tape off a box to use again. The tape may work, but will it have the same strength and durability as the original piece of tape? No.

Overall, recycled plastics are wonderful for making many things. This includes furniture, yoga mats, fencing and carpeting. But not roofing tiles. You can build your business by educating customers on the many benefits of composite roofing made of virgin resins. This will help bring you more business, along with customer referrals.